Nikon COOLSHOT 20 Range Finder Review

The smallest and most compact of Nikon’s golf rangefinder options, the COOLSHOT 20 is a straight forward laser unit which aims not only for precise distance measurements on the course but also to hit a more affordable price point amidst a plethora of high priced options on the market.

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Information on the COOLSHOT 20 from Nikon:

  • Measurement range: 5-500m/6-550 yds.
  • First Target Priority mode is employed.
  • When measuring overlapping subjects, the distance of the closest subject is displayed — useful when golfing for measuring the distance to a flagstick on a green with woods in the background.
  • A single press of the POWER button provides 8-second continuous measurement, which enables measurement even with slight hand movement
  • Compact, lightweight (approx. 125g) and ergonomic design
  • Distance measurement display step is 1m/yd.
  • High-quality 6x monocular with multilayer coating for bright, clear images
  • Long eye relief design affords eyeglass wearers easy viewing
  • Dioptre adjustment function
  • Rainproof — JIS/IEC protection class 4 (IPX4) equivalent (under our testing conditions)
  • Wide temperature tolerance: -10°C to +50°C

Internal Display:

  1. Distance
  2. Unit of measure (m/yd.)
  3. Target mark (-+-)
  4. Laser irradiation (X)
  5. Battery condition

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Aesthetics and Features:

The Nikon COOLSHOT 20 is a very clean and simple unit, although it does not have a ton of bells and whistles like we see among the highest priced units in the rangefinder market (slope, vibration, etc.) it also doesn’t have the crazy price point that those units do. At $199.95, the COOLSHOT 20 has a laser setup which extends to 550 yards out and a 6x magnification which is pretty standard in almost all units out there today.

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The unit itself is one of the most compact designs out there, it is all business not only in features, but also the ergonomics. The clean black and white color scheme, design and shape combined with an incredibly light 125g weight will fit comfortably into one hand for the majority of users, though those with large hands may feel like the unit borders on being a bit awkward at times.

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The unit also features an all-black layout including its reticules which are aimed at the target. As mentioned earlier, there is no pulse or slope, but it also isn’t aimed at being the most technological unit, it simply serves to try and be an effective one. Additionally, the case which is included uses a heavy snap front flap and a double overlap Velcro rear loop to attach it to the bag.  A carabiner would have been nice here, but the Velcro stayed fastened throughout testing both carrying and riding.

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The COOLSHOT 20 was truly put through its paces with a lot of rounds both carrying and walking and frankly it stood up incredibly well with no real issues in terms of durability. This was a relief given the small footprint an incredibly light weight.  Typically when things get lighter the outer casing is the major area where that weight is removed, but as mentioned there were no issues here even through a lot of use.

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The laser on the unit showed to be on par in terms of distance measured when compared with two of the top units on the market to the point that they were all right there with at most a one yard differential between them. One thing to note, it is not the fastest unit in terms of locking on to your target, but it is still effective. There were a few situations where steadying and locking onto the pin when in a heavily tree filled area took a little more patience, but it was nothing outlandish or what this reviewer would consider as being a problem. Given the price point and the straight forward nature of the unit, it essentially performed exactly as it should, no more and no less.

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Parting Thoughts:

For the $199.95 price point where it sits, the Nikon COOLSHOT 20 brings with it a no frills, straight forward, laser rangefinder unit which while hitting a price point that is much more enticing price than a lot of units out there, maintains a brand name that is traditionally synonymous with good quality and engineering. In the end, it will come down to what the user wants and needs. If its bells and whistles then looks should go elsewhere, but if it is a simple point and shoot distance tool, then the COOLSHOT 20 definitely deserves a look.

More information on this and the rest of Nikon’s golf rangefinder unit can be found on their website at

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  • Great review James and very timely for me. I am looking to pick up a basic unit and it sounds like this one may fit the bill.

  • I like the price point, for sure. And simple is always good. Performance is the key and thus sounds like a great deal.
    Thanks for reviewing James.

  • Really good review James. There is a strong market for a simple laser with great optics that picks up the pin well. This has a solid price point and I think is a great addition to the lineup.

  • Fantastic review James! Solid bang for the buck at $200.

    That thing looks tiny in your hands but I know you don’t have the smallest.

    Does it use the standard CR2 battery?

    Not a fan of the velcro on the case. I can see the side of the unit in the case, how does this compare against the Bushnell with the full case that it slides into? Just as safe?

  • Nice review Jman, it does look pretty small but there seems to be a market for a no frills, get-the-job done rangefinder.

  • Thanks for another great review. Having shopped around recently for a range finder, it’s nice to see a quality option at an affordable price point. Like you said others in the market offer more options, but for what it provides, the Nikon Coolshot 20 is a solid buy.

  • Love the size of this thing and the price is pretty nice compared to all the $300-$400 lasers out there now. This one should move the needle I would think. Thanks James!

  • Great review James, this is exactly what many people are looking for. A solid device that’s not going to break the bank. Sounds like the CoolShot delievered in every possible way. Thanks buddy!

  • Thanks for another great review James. The CoolShot sounds like a really solid rangefinder at a price point that most golfers are willing to pay. My only concern at this price was the accuracy. Being within a yard of the much more expensive models is fine. Especially since, for most of us, our swings account for more than a yard of variation anyway.

  • $200 is about as much as I’m willing to pay for a rangefinder. Glad to hear it performs well. All I want from a rangefinder is a solid number and this seems to do that well. Nice writeup, Jman!

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